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‘Tiene Muharram’ Bo-Kaap march set to celebrate Madrassa teachers

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By Aneeqa du Plessis

With Muslims across South Africa set to commemorate the 10th of Muharram 1445AH celebrations, Bo-Kaap in the Cape Town CBD will host their annual ‘Tiene Muharram’ march on Sunday (July 30th, 2023). This year’s event hosted by Boorhaanol Islam alongside the Tana Baru Trust is set to commemorate teachers.

Speaking on VOC’s Breakfast show on Friday, Secretary of the Boorhaanol Islam Movement and Co-ordinator of the Muharram March, Abdul Muhaimin Bassier explained the history, significance of the march.

“In the 1950s there was a very well known madrassa (Islamic school) teacher called Boeta Ha Benjamin and he ran a madrassa from Bo Kaap at the Boorhaanol Centre and on the 10th of Muharram took all the madrassa children to visit the Tana Baru and perform a dhikr and the purpose was to acknowledge the contribution and pay respect especially to Tuan Guru who was established the first madrassa in Cape Town in 1793 and that’s exactly 230 years ago,” explained Bassier.

According to Bassier, Tuan Guru was released from Robben Island as a political prisoner in 1793 too.

Every year the march highlights a different theme and this year it is “to pay tribute and salute all the madrassa teachers for the sterling work they have accomplished since the first madrassa opened until the present,” stated Bassier.

“The basis of our Islamic knowledge is acquired through that system and some of these teachers don’t even get paid and make huge sacrifices to ensure our children are taught Islam,” added Bassier.

It is the tenth year that the march is being held. The event started with a few hundred children but last year it boasted over 2 000 attendees.

“It is important that we keep our children engaged with these traditions so that our cultural heritage is not lost. A community without culture will just be assimilated into western culture if we don’t host events like this to signify our uniqueness,” said Bassier.

The Habibia brigade is set to lead the march.

“It is such a sight to see thousands of people all clad in white walking through the cobbled-stone streets of Bo Kaap whilst reciting dhikr. It is an event especially for children but adults accompany the kids but you have to register,” added Bassier.

To participate you need to register to ensure catering logistics are seen to. Register online at the website or call Principal Nuhaa 021 423 7690.

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